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The US Army will be testing a new type of reconnaissance robot designed to jump over walls and through windows, without putting soldiers in the line of fire. Dubbed the Sand Flea, the four wheeled device is about the size of a shoebox and weighs roughly ten pounds, and is capable of jumping up to 24 feet. The robot uses a piston …

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Anonymous Coward

that looks like something I saw in Hamleys

And do insurgents get kudos if they can shoot it mid-leap?

It's almost a new form of psychological warfare, to send in something that's just so irresistibly tempting to take a pot shot at that you give away your position.

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Mushroom

More scary is the Boston Dynamics Big Dog robot

When they put weapons on this then we can start worrying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXI4WWhPn-U&feature=related

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Anonymous Coward

Big Dog

You mean this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNZPRsrwumQ&feature=related

If I saw that coming towards me I think I'd instantly be relieved of a great weight as my back end let go. You wouldn't need to put weaponry on it.

However I suspect big dog is fallable in so far that it looks as though it needs a fairly flat surface to walk over. It could probably handle a small amount of debris but my guess is that it would fail if it were trying to navigate over very uneven terrain.

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Fallable?

Watch the whole vid! It does snow, ice, being kicked, mud, piles of blocks... very impressive bit of kit. If you poke around their site, it's one of a number of designs; this one's obviously intended to be a modern take on the mule, to carry extra kit for a squad - though it'll need to be a bit quieter before it goes on any special ops missions

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Facepalm

You mean this one:

Yes I did but not as funny.

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Paris Hilton

They need to upgrade these....

Add mechanical arms with stabbing knives, a motion-sensitive or infra-red vision system, artificial intelligence governed by rules of engagement that have holes you can drive a truck through and you have a B movie in the making!!!

Now if you can only program them to go specifically after nubile college coeds--that would be a classic in the making!!

Paris, because the resulting film could ressurect her career!

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Aren't those arseholes packing?

Oh right, it's an Obama war now.

It will go on.

So better throw more robots at it. Yep. That's the ticket.

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Are these robots?

I thought robots were generally supposed tl be autonomous and that these were just remote controlled vehicles?

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@Cameron Colley

It can autonomously land on its wheels - maybe that qualifies as robot. (how hard can it be? this beast is all wheels!)

No gov't would buy an rc toy for its soldiers. Therefore you label it 'robot'...

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Egad!

So...the A Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 Terminator will actually look like a Mardave Electric R/C stock car? With integral pogo-stick?

Points for ingenuity but a couple of negative levels for losing the thread.

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Welcome back Robot Wars, you were have been missed. Anyone know who the totty will be?

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WTF?

Nothing new under the sun

The BRITISH Army developed a "jumping Jeep" in the 1960s, until someone realised that it was a total WOMBAT and canned it. You may read about it in volume 3 of Doug Nye's epic history of BRM and Dog, if you're reading, where the f*** is volume 4?

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DJO
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Bloody clever of course, but why bother?

Why build an expensive and complicated jumping bot that can only see from ground level, when a cheap off the shelf flying job would do a better job for a fraction of the cost?

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@ Bloddy clever

Depends on what that "better job" is. Being up in the air projecting noise all around, a flying vehicle close enough to provide recognition tends to be easily spotted from 360 degrees. It also has to exert quite a bit of fuel or energy to remain functional while something ground based can just sit there and transmit or wait till motion is detected.

Now consider going inside buildings. Odds are high a flying robot would either crash or be so large and slow to be both easily noticed and knocked down before it even managed to focus some recon pics.

In short the point of the strategic design was purpose specific robots. Sometimes flying is better. Sometimes not.

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